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The Beginner's Guide to Pay-Per-Click ("PPC") Advertising

Author : Brianna Harvey

When it comes to finding the best way to market your business you may be unsure of what strategy to effectively implement. Pay-per-click (“PPC”), search engine optimization (“SEO”), and social media are all marketing strategies commonly seen to attract and retain customers. And of those strategies, PPC is especially helpful when it comes to lead generation, specifically local leads. If you are new to the world of paid advertising, or don’t really know how it works, you may not realize that PPC can work for businesses of all sizes, with varying budgets. Pay-per-click advertising is a way of increasing lead generation, through visits to your website and ad landing pages, without needing to spend the big bucks.


Understanding PPC


PPC is similar to a billboard or a sign, except instead of having an advertisement for your business pop up while on the road it pops up on your phone, tablet, or computer. When a consumer is browsing the web, your ad can pop up as a banner, among other formats. What makes this type of paid-for ad different than traditional forms of print or mass media advertising, is that instead of paying a fixed price upfront, you are paying per click your ad gets. You are also spending a significant amount less than you would if you were to buy billboard space and advertise through that channel. PPC gives the control back to the business owner by allowing you to choose how your money is being spent, what keywords you bid on, keywords you don’t want to bid on (negative keywords) and what your daily budget it. This control allows you to see where your money is being spent and reduces the gamble that may come with other areas of online advertising. Is PPC right for your business?


That depends. PPC can be extremely effective for businesses of all types and sizes – small, medium, large, public, private, nonprofit, etc. When it comes to determining if this is a digital marketing strategy you want to implement you should first consider your budget. While you can effectively market using paid ads on a smaller budget, you still need to have resources to allocate to PPC strategies and initiatives. So, do you have the budget to invest in PPC? After all, it takes money to make money.


How Does PPC Work?


Now that you’ve determined if PPC is right for your business, it’s time to explore how it works. If you don’t acquire a basic understanding of PPC, but move forward with paid ads anyway, you run the risk of not optimizing your ads and not implementing an effective ad strategy, which could result in your business losing money. See, these ads are not randomly placed on the web. If they were, the clicks would not come in abundance as your business’s product or service will not appeal to everyone. As aforementioned, these ads will be targeted towards those who search for specific keywords – through keyword research. These keywords are going to be the same ones you have put in your settings when setting up the ad. It’s critical to ensure all included keywords are related to your business. This is how people who need your product or service will find you.


This method provides a huge benefit to businesses that are seeking a new way to gain exposure and overall brand awareness. Word of mouth will only go so far while the Internet can reach almost every corner of the world. Of course, by using keyword research, your ads will only target your ideal customer, specific audience, people who are more likely to buy your products. This ensures that only people who are interested (a potential buyer) see the ad and thus visit your website. PPC is particularly great for targeting those who live near your business. These locals may see your ad and decide to visit your business one day.


PPC Analytics and Results


PPC allows you to not only be in control of how much you want to spend, but also in control of your results. Depending on what the business climate is like, and how your ads are performing, you may want to spend more or less every month. This budget can constantly be altered with PPC. You can also set a spending limit on each ad campaign you decide to initiate. The best part for small businesses is that every paid media campaign comes with performance results. These results allow you to review the analytics that demonstrate how well your ad is doing, how many clicks it has received, how many conversions it received, etc. This will give you more insight into whether you should invest more or less next time.


Additionally, knowing just how many clicks and people you are reaching with PPC can help you adjust the keywords. Budget aside, adjusting the keywords can be the real game-changer because it is essential in determining what demographic and audience you are reaching. If your current audience is not engaging with your ad, clicking on it, converting to a subscriber or a client, then you will know the keywords you are using and bidding on are not reflective of those who need your product or service. Knowing about these errors and successes, and then making adjustments, can drastically change how successful your paid advertising campaign is.


Closing Thoughts


In a world that is increasingly becoming reliant on the world wide web, investing in digital practices, such as PPC, can benefit your small business. Only having a storefront, with no online presence and paid advertising strategy, will restrict the number of customers who can potentially discover your business. With a storefront and ads, such as PPC, you can reach a larger audience. This will work to give your business the exposure it needs to continually grow. In a time where the internet is intertwined with all aspects of a person’s life, not utilizing all it can offer is harmful to your business. Thanks for reading through this Beginner’s Guide to PPC.  Feel free to also browse through the rest of our blog (how about checking out 9 SEO Techniques for More Organic Traffic) for more. 


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